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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
Standard equipment for the EX includes hill start assist and hill descent control, Bluetooth, keyless ignition and back-up alerts, and you can opt for navigation, a back-up camera, leather upholstery, heated seats and a gigantic panoramic sunroof.
Our test car lacked extra-cost options like the navigation system and Infinity stereo, but the base stereo delivers adequate sound, and inexpensive, portable navigation systems are good enough these days that we'd hesitate to pony up the extra cash for a factory setup.
The optional 7.1 surround sound Infinity audio package strikes us as a good idea, especially since the new Sorento is commendably quiet both in busy urban settings and longer, high-speed stretches on the highway – all the better to properly enjoy your tunes.
The standard Sirius satellite radio came in handy, although we have one huge gripe about the tuning in Kia (and Hyundai) vehicles: When selecting a satellite station, you turn a knob as in most other vehicles, but you then have to push the knob to confirm the change.
Car and Driver
A long list of standard equipment makes the 2012 Kia Sorento an exceptional value in crossovers, whether you choose the five-seat or seven-seat model.
Three trim levels are available, aside from the drivetrain choices. Base and LX models have standard air conditioning; cruise control; power windows, locks and mirrors; satellite radio; Bluetooth; USB connectivity for portable music players; steering-wheel audio controls; and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Those base versions used to check in under $20,000, and now start at more than $22,000 when destination charges are included, more than $23,000 with the automatic.
Move into the EX Sorento and you'll also get reverse parking sensors; a power drive seat; pushbutton start; fog lamps; automatic headlights; and a rear spoiler. On V-6 models, the EX also gets the third-row seat package, which comes with a rear air conditioner. An SX package adds sporty wheels and body add-ons, as well as standard navigation with voice control, Infinity speakers, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
On the options list for various models are some key offerings, which can push the Sorento's pricetag to nearly $30,000. While it's a good value in base form, we'd opt for the rearview camera, but as an option on LX and EX models, it's bundled with a navigation system that's a considerable uptick, given the Sorento's low base price. Infinity audio brings better sound quality, but navigating the Sorento's sound system has some foibles that will take a few clicks and taps to get used to. Leather seats and a panoramic sunroof are also offered.
This year, the Sorento also gets a choice of newly styled wheels; a power passenger seat; a ventilated driver seat; power-folding side mirrors; and upping the tech ante, UVO. The UVO system isversion of the same Microsoft code that underwrites Ford's SYNC system. It uses Bluetooth connections to drive some vehicle functions by voice, for hands-free operation of the phone and audio controls. It's not quite as sophisticated as SYNC, but it's a smart first step into less distracted driving.
Every Sorento comes with in-demand features like Bluetooth, satellite radio, and USB; you can spend almost $30,000 by optioning up to the leather interior and rear-seat DVD player.